There has been a lot of issues of late pertaining to extreme hot weather and the abilities of pure EVs in that climate, so Chevrolet took their mostly ready for production Spark EVs out into the desert for a 305 mile trek from Yuma, AZ, to Torrance, CA this past weekend.
The cars, emblazoned with GM's own personalize product QR code (just in case it has any gawkers with smart phones), started out in Arizona, took the I-8 West, across some country highways near the Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness Park and Warner Springs, AZ, then through Laguna Niguel, CA, up into Torrance.
The cars made several stops along the way using DC fast charging, which ironically the production Spark EV is not compatible with, as it utilizes the new SAE Combined standard, that has yet to have a single charging station built and installed for.
The reason for these tests according to Trista Schieffer, Lead Development Engineer for the Chevrolet Spark EV (pictured above) was:
"...to monitor how the Spark EV performs in a hot climate on various roads to optimize driving efficiency. We’ll be watching to see how much the EV range varies in the hot weather and various types of operating scenarios—from interstate highways to country roads. This drive will allow us to see if we need to make any last-minute adjustments to improve overall operating efficiency."
Data will be collected from the drive, and some of the results are promised to be made public later in the week.
This is the second highly publicized outing for the Spark EV, the first coming in late March of this year, with four prototype cars racking up 1,500 miles of faultless driving. At the end of that run Trista commented:
"My biggest surprise and delight of the drive in California was that after four days and more than 1500 miles, there wasn’t one fault code on any of the vehicles. This means we’re right on track to developing a great car. The ability to leverage technology and experience from the Chevrolet Volt is enabling us to move quickly with this program."
InsideEVs recently spoke with Annalisa Bluhm, who works for Chevrolet Communications, and she told us that the Spark EV is fully on schedule and will be built in 2013 in South Korea, and will be sold later in the year as a 2014 model.
Separately, another representative from General Motors re-confirmed with us that GM is still fully committed to using batteries from the beleaguered American battery manufacturer, A123.